Chapter 4 - A new mechanism for trust disputes resolution

Introduction

The law currently makes it difficult to for beneficiaries to hold trustees to account. Taking an action against a trustee in the High Court, which is currently the only practical option available to beneficiaries who are dissatisfied with the performance of a trustee’s duties, is likely to be costly, complex and slow. These factors are likely to dissuade many beneficiaries from taking action against a trustee when, in fact, they may have had a well-founded case. As a result, some trustees that are not performing the duties which they owe beneficiaries are not being held to account and breaches of trust are not being put right.

This chapter explores whether any other option for trust disputes resolution, such as an ombudsman, tribunal, or commission, should be considered. While the cost of establishing such a mechanism is likely to mitigate against the adoption of any of them at this time, it is useful to set out their features and analyse what value they could add.